Well I took off the bendix cover and found that the front bolt and washer had completely come off the bendix shaft and fell out when I removed the cover. I pulled the key out and ran the assembly out and everything looked ok including the spring.
I will be ordering a new set of bolts and washers from Langs tonight.
Thank you everyone for your help with this.
Randy Glowacki, Parsippany, NJ
Thank goodness the loose parts fell onto the ground and not into the engine or transmission!
Don't forget to get new gaskets as well.
Here's a little helpful hint for you when going back together. Clean the block and glue the Bendix cover gasket to it. Install the cover screw closest to the block with a few turns first. The Bendix cover is slotted. Put some sealer on the cover, slide it on and you can wiggle it enough to get the slot to go under the screw. Then install the other 3 screws and tighten every thing up.
You will figure out why I say install that screw first, if you don't.
Don't lose the screws which hold the bendix cover. They are a special thread. Also be sure it is well sealed. You can lose a lot of oil if it leaks.
They are #14-24, and guaranteed to back out when you least expect, leaving a trail of oil, which you hopefully discover before the engine seizes.
I use 6mm x 1mm x 12mm allen head screws. 6mm is very close to #14, and 1mm is 25.4 tpi. That's just enough difference from 24 tpi to make them self locking. The Allen head lets them stay on a 5mm x 1/4" drive socket with extension for easy handling. I can even do the bottom one blind from above.
Funny you should mention that Ralph. I put a 6mm stud in place of the hard to get at screw, for the same reason.
Man, how do you guys sleep at night?
I sleep better than I did with those original screws. It was raining like a cow peeing on a flat rock that day in the 1999 Greatrace in Russelville, Ark, where we had lunch. As we started to pull away from the show parking, somebody yelled that we were leaking oil. I got to tighten those screws and add oil right there, rather than have a seized engine a few miles later.
It had not been leaking the night before in Hot Springs, nor that morning at Petit Jean Hill museum.
Hal Schedler in Hot Springs